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BT Openreach Offer 5 Months Free FTTC for Slow Broadband Lines

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016 (11:52 am) - Score 1,936

Openreach has announced that they will soon give UK ISPs the ability to offer 5 months of free rental on their 40Mbps FTTC (VDSL2) based “fibre broadband” service, which will apply to customers who currently only receive sub-10Mbps speeds via their existing copper lines (e.g. ADSL).

At present more than half of the broadband connections in the United Kingdom still use old-style ADSL / ADSL2+ based broadband technology, which at best will struggle to deliver download speeds of up to around 20Mbps and many receive something considerably slower.

However a lot of people with related lines are now within reach of Openreach’s new and usually much faster FTTC (VDSL2) broadband network, although the extra cost of this service can sometimes discourage them from upgrading.

Openreach are now looking to at least partly address this by offering 5 months of free rental to those verified to be suffering from a sub-10Mbps line, which will apply to their 40Mbps (2Mbps upload) or 40Mbps (10Mbps upload) speed tiers.

Openreach Statement

This special offer enables CPs to regrade their existing copper customers, who are experiencing speeds of sub 10Mbps, to GEA-FTTC PCP Only 40/2 Mbps or 40/10 Mbps speed tiers.

We’re launching this special offer to support our CP customers in their efforts to stimulate fibre demand in the consumer marketplace.

CPs will be able to take advantage of the offer from Sunday 1 January 2017 until Friday 31 March 2017 inclusive, for all new GEA-FTTC orders received for regraded lines, of sub 10Mbps, during this period.

We note that this offer only applies to the PCP Only (Self-Installation) version of FTTC (most ISPs use this now), which usually also attracts a one-off installation fee of £49 +vat (or £32.53 if Openreach are able to start an already stopped FTTC line).

Interestingly Openreach states that, during the special offer period, the normal appointment availability Service Level Agreements (SLA) and its corresponding SLG will not apply to qualifying lines.

In terms of the wholesale cost, the 40/2Mbps tier typically costs ISPs £6.90 +vat per month and the 40/10Mbps option costs £7.40. So over five months there’s a reasonable saving to be had, although we must not forget that the ISP has its own costs (tax, profit margins, data capacity, extra services etc.) to add on top and so this may not translate the same to all ISPs.

Separately Openreach are continuing to trial a new 18Mbps profile for their FTTC service (here), which looks like a potentially more attractive option for moving existing ADSL customers over to modern FTTC / VDSL2 lines.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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9 Responses
  1. Henry says:

    That could be attractive in a Universal Service Obligation sense, but it does not work for those without an FTTC option (cough: long EO lines)

    There are also cases where Openreach has already built new cabinets for network rearrangement but it is impossible to tell which premises will eventually be attached to them or when they will be ready for service. With luck that might be resolved in some cases before 31 March 2017, but who knows?

    More generally, what happens in cases where FTTC/VDSL demand exceeds cabinet capacity and customers have to wait past the deadline?

  2. George says:

    Does this then mean that if a roadside cabinet has not been upgraded to FTTC, as in the case of the Fastershire failure in the Forest of Dean (Longhope exchange), you can still get this or does the cabinet still need to have been upgraded?

    A little confused but maybe it is (probably) me.

    1. NGA for all says:

      It’s needs cabinet, and FTTP /GPON on demand could also be enforced.

  3. Cecil Ward says:

    So what are they going to do for me when I can’t get 3 Mbps on any of my three ADSL2 lines? Give me 15 months freeline rental per line? 🙂

    1. eM says:

      It’s not the line rental that is free, is it? It is just the broadband component.

  4. Michael says:

    I thought a month ago Openreach was going to make a special offer available for sub 10Mbps line customers to potentially move to FTTP on Demand if there was an access point within 2999 m of the premise. This was at a reduced per metre charge, but could have been a driver to get Fibre deeper into certain areas.

    Has anyone seen the resultant service offered at a Retail level yet ?

  5. Hannu says:

    I sort of see a pattern here.

    If you have or can have FTTC, great. G.Fast will come to boost speed. If you don’t use FTTC yet, you’ll get discounts to help you move to fibre products. Even FTTP roll outs seem to concentrate on areas with a heavy FTTC presence. Whatever Openreach invests, seems to be focused on improving their “premium” service offering.

    And if you happen to be on an urban exchange only line, tough. We can keep enjoying our 2Mb/s ADSLs, unless we pay them to upgrade their infrastructure.

    As we did not decide how to cable these areas, nor did we choose to use aluminium instead of copper to save money, I find it extremely irritating when asked to pay for infrastructure upgrades.

    When old water pipes get damaged or are no longer fit for purpose, Thames Water (in London) replaces them instead of happily advertising options for affected residents with little or no water to pay for them to fix the problem, while offering discounts to those who already have a functional supply.

    No matter how much technology advances, every advancement seems to push us deeper to the bottom of the queue.

    But of course good for them who can get a faster service with a discount.

    1. Tom says:

      +1 to that comment, we said

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